Michael J. McGivney

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Venerable
Michael J. McGivney
Father McGivney 300.jpg
Priest, Founder
BornMichael Joseph McGivney
(1852-08-12)August 12, 1852
Waterbury, Connecticut, United States
DiedAugust 14, 1890(1890-08-14) (aged 38)
Thomaston, Connecticut, United States
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church

Michael Joseph McGivney (August 12, 1852 – August 14, 1890) was an American Catholic priest based in New Haven, Connecticut. He founded the Knights of Columbus at a local parish to serve as a mutual aid and fraternal insurance organization, particularly for immigrants and their families. It developed through the 20th century as the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

New Haven, Connecticut City in Connecticut, United States

New Haven is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in New Haven County, Connecticut, and is part of the New York metropolitan area. With a population of 129,779 as determined by the 2010 United States Census, it is the second-largest city in Connecticut after Bridgeport. New Haven is the principal municipality of Greater New Haven, which had a total population of 862,477 in 2010.

Knights of Columbus Catholic fraternal service organization founded in 1882

The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, it was named in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus. Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to working-class and immigrant Catholics in the United States, it developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, including war and disaster relief, actively defending Catholicism in various nations, and promoting Catholic education. The Knights also support the Catholic Church's positions on public policy issues, including various political causes, and are participants in the new evangelization. The current Supreme Knight is Carl A. Anderson.

Contents

The cause for his canonization started in the Archdiocese of Hartford in 1996; in March 2008, Pope Benedict XVI declared McGivney "Venerable" in recognition of his "heroic virtue". [1]

Pope Benedict XVI 265th pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI is a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as head of the Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "pope emeritus" upon his resignation.

Early life

He was born to Irish immigrant parents, Patrick and Mary (Lynch) McGivney. He was the eldest of 13 children, six of whom died in infancy or childhood. His father worked as a molder in a Waterbury, Connecticut, brass mill. Michael attended the local Waterbury district school but left at 13 to work in the spoon-making department of one of the brass mills. [2]

Waterbury, Connecticut City in Connecticut, United States

Waterbury is a city in the U.S. state of Connecticut on the Naugatuck River, 33 miles southwest of Hartford and 77 miles northeast of New York City. Waterbury is the second-largest city in New Haven County, Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, Waterbury had a population of 110,366, making it the 10th largest city in the New York Metropolitan Area, 9th largest city in New England and the 5th largest city in Connecticut.

A brass mill is a mill which processes brass. Brass mills are common in England; many date from long before the Industrial Revolution.

Studies

In 1868, at the age of 16, he entered the Séminaire de Saint-Hyacinthe in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada. He continued his studies at Our Lady of Angels Seminary, near Niagara Falls, New York [2] (1871–1872) and at the Jesuits' St. Mary's College, in Montreal, Quebec. He had to leave the seminary, returning home to help finish raising his siblings after the death of his father, in June 1873. [3] McGivney later resumed his studies at St. Mary's Seminary, in Baltimore, Maryland; he was ordained a priest on December 22, 1877, by Archbishop James Gibbons at the Baltimore Cathedral of the Assumption. [2]

Quebec Province of Canada

Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of New Brunswick and the US states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is historically and politically considered to be part of Central Canada.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

Niagara University Private Catholic university in Lewiston, New York, USA

Niagara University is a private Catholic university in the Vincentian tradition in Lewiston in Niagara County, New York. It is run by the Congregation of the Mission. Niagara has 3,300 undergraduate students in 50 academic programs. Approximately half of the students are residents while the other half commute from the surrounding area. The college is known as a liberal arts school but offers programs in technical and pre-professional disciplines as well.

Michael J. McGivney Michael J McGivney.jpg
Michael J. McGivney

Founding of the Knights of Columbus

From his own experience, McGivney recognized the devastating effect on immigrant families of the untimely death of the father and wage earner. Many Catholics were still struggling to assimilate into the American economy. [3] On March 29, 1882, while an assistant pastor at Saint Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut, McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, with a small group of parishioners, [3] as a mutual aid society, to provide financial assistance, in the event of the men's deaths, to their widows and orphans. The organization developed as a fraternal society. McGivney was also known for his tireless work among his parishioners. [1] He died from pneumonia on the eve of the Assumption in 1890, when he was 38.

A pastor is an ordained leader of a Christian congregation. A pastor also gives advice and counsel to people from the community or congregation.

Pneumonia Infection of the lungs

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung affecting primarily the small air sacs known as alveoli. Typically symptoms include some combination of productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Severity is variable.

Assumption of Mary the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life

The Assumption of Mary into Heaven is, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.

The Knights of Columbus was among the first groups to recruit blood donors, with formal efforts dating to 1937 during the Great Depression. As of 2013, the order has more than 1.8 million member families and 15,000 councils. During the 2012 fraternal year, the order donated $167 million and 70 million man-hours to charity. [4]

Great Depression 20th-century worldwide economic depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.

A man-hour is the amount of work performed by the average worker in one hour. It is used for estimation of the total amount of uninterrupted labour required to perform a task. For example, researching and writing a college paper might require eighty man-hours, while preparing a family banquet from scratch might require ten man-hours.

Cause for canonization

Monument of Michael J. McGivney, Founder of Knights of Columbus, at the Church of the Ascension in Saratoga, California, USA Monument of the Venerable Michael J. McGivney, Founder of Knights of Columbus, at the Church of the Ascension, San Jose, CA USA.JPG
Monument of Michael J. McGivney, Founder of Knights of Columbus, at the Church of the Ascension in Saratoga, California, USA

In 1996, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford opened the cause for canonization, an investigation into McGivney's life with a view towards formal recognition by the Church of his sainthood. Father Gabriel O'Donnell, OP, is the postulator of McGivney's cause. He is also the director of the Fr. McGivney Guild, which now has 150,000 members supporting his cause. [5]

The diocesan investigation was closed in 2000, and the case was passed to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Vatican City. On March 15, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI approved a decree recognizing McGivney's heroic virtue, thus declaring him "Venerable." [3]

As of August 6,2013, a miracle attributed to McGivney's intercession is under investigation at the Vatican. [5]

Legacy

Fr. Michael J. McGivney monument in Sts. Peter & Paul Parish Church, Bauang, La Union, Philippines BauangLaUnionChurchjf784.JPG
Fr. Michael J. McGivney monument in Sts. Peter & Paul Parish Church, Bauang, La Union, Philippines

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 "Knights of Columbus Founder Declared Venerable". Zenit.org. March 16, 2008. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 "Early Years", The Venerable Michael J. McGivney, Philippine Edition
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Father Michael McGivney", Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network Archived 2013-09-16 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Knights set record for giving $167 million, 70 million volunteer hours, in 2012", Catholic Philly, June 2013
  5. 1 2 "Annual Report of the Supreme Knight" (pdf). Knights of Columbus. August 6, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  6. Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy
  7. "McGivney Institutions and Memorials", Father McGivney Guild

Further reading